Today organic foods are part of mainstream culture. There are name brand organic products available at co-ops and large organic food retailers. Many “big-box” stores are beginning to offer their own organic product lines as well… “off-brand” organic items. This is fantastic news because organic foods are better for your fertility! Going organic is the easiest way to avoid toxic pesticides and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) that impact reproductive health and a future pregnancy.
Still, consumers have concerns about the cost of organic foods and whether going all organic is really necessary. Shopping organic doesn’t have to be complicated. There is a price increase for certain items, but not all and organic foods are worth it in terms of quality, nutritional value and taste. Shopping wisely, locally and seasonally can help you go organic without breaking the bank.
Our Top ‘Shop Organic’ Tips
Purchase organic meat and dairy if possible: If you can’t afford organic animal products, look for options that, at a minimum, don’t use hormones or antibiotics. Focus on a plant-based diet, with moderate animal foods for optimum fertility and less financial stress.
Avoid the Dirty Dozen; Choose organic in the produce aisle: These are labeled the Dirty Dozen and are best avoided. Potatoes, leafy greens, mushrooms and hot peppers also test high for pesticides. Purchase all of these foods organic when you can.
Choose organic, fair trade coffee: Doing so will help to avoid an unhealthy dose of pesticides in your morning brew. Most coffee is produced in countries with lax regulations regarding pesticide usage. Choosing organic also helps you avoid chemicals used in the processing of coffee beans, processing required to turn them into the beans and grounds available on market shelves. Better yet, consider herbal coffee alternatives when trying to get pregnant, or battling infertility.
Choose the Clean Fifteen: Pick conventional foods from this list: The foods below are low in detectable pesticides, but first a note on corn: While corn tests low for pesticides, you may want to purchase organic corn to avoid GMO sweet corn.
5. Sweet Peas
Buy produce seasonally and locally: Buying produce out of season increases the price significantly. Purchase your favorite organic fruits and vegetables in bulk when they’re in season. Freeze, dehydrated, freeze-dry, or make preserves with them to use when the prices spike back up. Look for foods grown in your area for the best savings.
Shop wisely: The range in price on organic foods is dramatic. Some organic foods may be cheaper than their conventional counterparts. Follow the promotions at your local stores to get the best deals. Avoid organic “junk foods” like cookies, chip or crackers, which tend to be expensive and not very nutritious.
Take a trip to the farmer’s market: Find out what’s available in your backyard. Psst, you may even have fertility herbs growing in your backyard. Talk to organic farmers in your area. They could have overstock they are willing to sell you at a good price. They may be willing to trade you produce in exchange for a couple of hours of volunteer work on the farm. Local produce also contains more nutrients lost during long shipments.
Grow your own food: Growing your own food is an excellent way to keep organic foods stocked in your fridge for less cost. Research the growing seasons in your area or join a gardening group to get started.
About vegetables washes: Just rinsing produce with running water removes about the same amount of pesticides (less than half) as most vegetable washes. Try a 10% salt water rinse instead to remove pesticide residues, but remember to wash the salt off before you eat them.
Organic Foods, Your Health, and Your Fertility
Think of organic foods as a first line of protection against chemical overload that could affect your health, fertility and a future pregnancy. Shopping for organic foods is becoming easier as organic options are available everywhere today. Start with the suggestions in this article to make the most of your food choices, while protecting your fertility and your pocketbook.
Additional resources to help you decide if choosing organic is right for you are:
5 Reasons Why Going Organic is Good for Your Fertility
Video: Why Organic is So Important For Fertility & Pregnancy
How Important is Going Organic to My Fertility?
Fertility Diet Tip – How Eating Healthy Can Be Affordable
- Loux, R. (2011, Nov.) The Dirty Dozen-Contaminated Foods. Prevention. Retrieved from:
- Marks, T. (2016, March) The Cost of Organic Foods. Consumer Reports. Retrieved from:
- Mosbergen, D. (2016, June) Is Buying Organic Worth It. Huffington Post. Retrieved from:
- Clean Fifteen (2016) Ewg’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ Environmental Working Group. Retrieved from: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php
- Dirty Dozen (2016) Ewg’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ Environmental Working Group. Retrieved from: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
- Consumer Self-Defense: 12 Ways To Drive GMO’s and Roundup Off the Market (2015, Jan) Organic Consumers Association. Retrieved from: https://www.organicconsumers.org/essays/consumer-self-defense-12-ways-drive-gmos-and-roundup-market
- Animal Feed (2016) Grace Communications Foundation. Sustainable.com. Retrieved from: http://www.sustainabletable.org/260/animal-feed
- Greger, M. (2015) How Not To Die. Flatiron Books
- Barton, D. (2016) 5 Reasons Why Going Organic Is Good For Your Fertility. Natural Fertility Info. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/going-organic.html
- Willett, E. (2016) Fertility Diet Tip: How Eating Healthy Can Be Affordable. Natural Fertility Info. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/eating-healthy-affordably.html